This anonymous administrator gives us directions to the player's dressing rooms – walk up, you will reach my office, then right, and you’re there. My kit is supposed to have reached earlier, at least I hope it has, as I trudge my way up boxes and a makeshift staircase.
I reach a small room with a light shaft for a window. I cannot find my playing whites nor can I trace my shoes. There’s an attendant at hand, who takes out a pile of white shirts – I try a few, they’re old, washed out, doesn’t he have anything halfway decent for a cricketer?
That’s when the white with the blue cowboy highlights appears, an acquaintance approves. There’s this batting card scribbled on a chart paper, surprised to see my name seven down, thought I was up at three, anyway, what about the shoes, wallet, mobiles – do they let phones into dressing rooms?
We’re going to field. Some nerves kicking in, I tell Mishra it’s been a while since I bowled with a cricket ball, been tennis all along. Mishra agrees, says it’s the same with him. Feel better already.
I don’t want to field at mid off. Btw this is the Brabourne stadium, but it doesn’t look like it. I’m on to bowl. First ball cross seam, give it a real rip – though I was hoping more not to lose my grip. Gain landing rights, pitches at a good length on off, batsman goes for, I really don’t recall what shot, but he’s bowled middle.
I remember my celebration though, it was a send off but not to the batsman – in hindsight it was more like a bus conductor asking passengers to board. I enjoyed that.
Then my next wicket, batsman’s so far down, think he’ll make the bowling crease – will he be stumped, no bowled again.
In spite of my two wickets in one over, they wangle 154 of 20. Clearly I was under bowled.